Family's tears for first victim of swine flu
TRAGIC: Musician Darina (18) dies in hospital
A FAMILY is in deep mourning today following the death of a young woman from swine flu.
Darina Calpin (18) became the country's first fatality from the H1N1 virus since infections began three months ago.
She died at 3pm yesterday in Dublin's Tallaght Hospital, where she had been cared for in an individual room within the building from the time she was admitted on Monday.
There was a high suspicion of swine flu when the teenager -- from Templeboy, Co Sligo -- was admitted and that is why she was placed in isolation.
It is understood that she suffered from cystic fibrosis and contracted the flu virus in the community.
Neighbouring parish priest Fr Gerry Gillespie of Dunmore West said: "She was a lovely girl. Everyone in the community is very upset.
"She had a hard time in the past but always came back fighting. She was hoping for a lung transplant."
Darina's distressed family have asked for privacy.
A close friend of the family said her tragic death had devastated the community.
"She was a very talented musician. She was a lovely singer," he said.
A statement released from Tallaght Hospital said that all national protocols had been followed, and the Hospital's Influenza Pandemic Flu Committee had put in place all necessary measures to ensure both the safety of other patients and staff within the hospital. The hospital said it continued to work in conjunction with the Department of Health & Children and the Health Service Executive (HSE) in relation to the issue.
It extended its heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Darina.
Meanwhile, Dr Pat Doorley, national director of population health with the HSE, reiterated yesterday that most people who contracted swine flu would recover well at home by looking after themselves and would not even need to call a doctor.
He said that the public should be assured that in the vast majority of cases, the flu virus caused a mild to moderate illness.
To date, 27 people have been hospitalised here with swine flu, with 18 remaining in hospital. These include three people being treated in intensive care units.
This week, the latest HSE figures showed the overall number of people suspected of having the virus had dropped.